Judges 9:1-25

Talks for Growing Christians

Abimelech's Three-Year Rule Over Israel

Judges 9:1-25

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Lesson Number 15

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Bad choices result in bad fall-out.
  2. God controls even the evil spirits.

Practical Application

  1. Watch out for smooth talking brambles.


  1. The last days of Gideon were not his best days as judge in Israel. Refer back to 8:22-32, what were some the things that Gideon did wrong at this point?
  2. Abimelech was such an evil ruler that many do not even consider him as one of the judges of Israel. What did he do that was so wrong?
  3. Who was Jotham? What did he do on the top of Mt. Gerizim?
  4. Does God control evil spirits? Can you back this up scripturally? Does God control Satan?
  5. Does God allow evil? How does He use it?


  1. He wrongly set up a golden ephod in his home town and it became an idol and a snare for Israel and Gideon's household. He had departed from God's word and took in many wives and concubines.
  2. Abimelech sweet-talked his relatives into campaigning for him to become king. As soon as he became king, he had all of his half-brothers killed - seventy of them.
  3. Jotham was the youngest son among the half-brothers of Abimelech, who escaped. He pronounced a curse against Abimelech in the form of a parable.
  4. Yes. See Judges 9:23. Yes.
  5. Yes. He uses it for His own purposes.


  1. The Israelites made Abimelech their king, and they lived to regret that decision. How many times have you made decisions without first consulting the Lord and making sure that your decision was in His will? As a result, has there been bad fall-out?
  2. The Bible teaches that God controls everything. He is sovereign. Yet, so many times we see evil in this world, and wonder. Do you believe that God works all things after the counsel of His will? Believe it, even when things seem otherwise.


  1. When selecting church leaders, look for a proven record, not smooth talk. There are church leaders who, like Abimelech, have sweet-talked their way into positions of leadership to the detriment of the congregation. Watch out for smooth-talking brambles.

Key Verses

  • "Jotham stood on Mount Gerizim, and lifted his voice and cried out, 'Listen to me, you men of Shechem that God may listen to you...all the trees said to the bramble, 'Come and reign over us!" Judges 9:7, 14
  • "God sent a spirit of ill will between Abimelech and the men of Shechem, and the men dealt treacherously with him." Judges 9:23
  • Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap." Galatians 6:7
  • "In Him we are predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will." Ephesians 1:11

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